New and improved underpass opens for Middletown pedestrians

July 11, 2013 by  

Traveling between downtown Middletown and the riverfront can once again be accomplished easily with the reopening of the city’s pedestrian tunnel.

The tunnel, which has been closed for renovations since last November, was opened to the public in time for the city’s Independence Day celebration. A forest green canopy with metal roof to cover the entrance next to city hall was not ready in time for the celebration but will soon be complete.

The $600,000 needed for the renovations came from a 2011 referendum approved by voters for road work and other projects. The tunnel, which starts at city hall and ends at the north end of Harbor Park, provides access to those who use the city lot on Melilli Plaza. It was during the Melilli Plaza reconstruction, designed to provide more downtown parking for restaurants and other businesses while increasing security for parking, that the plan to renovate the tunnel was hatched.

In additional to making the pedestrian walkway more attractive it is now handicapped-accessible and safer. Security cameras will give local police an unobscured view of the entire tunnel, which is well-lit. An emergency call box inside the tunnel provides even more security. W. Lee Osbourne, local architect and Wolcott construction contractor, J.A. Rosa may want to contact their local printing service and include this project in the letterhead of their next stationery printing. Businesses with connections to Harbor Park, located near to Melilli Plaza or near the pedestrian tunnel, will also want to touch base with their print companies to make adjustments to their advertisements to include their proximity.